United Nations System

From Academic Kids

While the United Nations is an International organization, the United Nations System is the whole network of international organizations, treaties and conventions that were created by the United Nations.

The United Nations System is based on five active principal organs (formerly six, the UN Trusteeship Council suspended operations in 1994):

In addition separate organizations, often subordinate to the principal organs, has been created to solve specialized tasks.


Organizations of United Nations System

One of the remarkable features of the UN system it the duplication of responsibility. Please comment on this and explain how this plays out.

For example, frustrated by their ability to control ECOSOC the Assembly's third-world majority created UNCTAD (UN Conference on Trade and Development) to address special issues that ECOSOC was not addressing. (Basu, Rumki, "The United Nations: Structure and Functions of an International Organisation," Sterling Publishing, New Delhi, 1993.)

Likewise, but just as example, UNODOC (UN Office on Drugs and Crime) reports to the Secretariat, ECOSOC has a Functional Commission on crime and a separate one on Drugs, and the Assembly oversees UNICRI (UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute). UN's Org Chart (http://www.un.org/aboutun/chart.html)

Organizations of the General Assembly

Main article: UN General Assembly

  • Main committees
  • Other sessional committees
  • Standing committees and ad hoc bodies
  • Other subsidiary organs

Programmes and Funds

  • UNCTAD - United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
    • ITC - International Trade Centre (UNCTAD/WTO)
  • UNDCP - United Nations Drug Control Programme
  • UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
    • UNIFEM - United Nations Development Fund for Women
    • UNV - United Nations Volunteers
  • UNEP - United Nations Environment Programme
  • UNFPA - United Nations Fund for Population Activities
  • UNHCR - Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • UNHSP - United Nations Human Settlements Programme
  • UNICEF - United Nations Children's Fund
  • WFP - World Food Programme
  • UNRWA - United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (Reports only to the General Assembly)

Research and training institutes

  • INSTRAW - International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women
  • UNICRI - United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute
  • UNITAR - United Nations Institute for Training and Research
  • UNRISD - United Nations Research Institute for Social Development
  • UNIDIR - United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (Reports only to the General Assembly)

Other Entities

Organizations of the Security Council

Main article: UN Security Council

  • Military Staff Committee
  • Standing Committee and ad hoc bodies
  • International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
  • International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
  • UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (Iraq)
  • Peacekeeping Operations and Missions
    • UNAMIR - United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda
    • UNAMSIL - United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone
    • UNAVEM III - United Nations Angola Verification Mission III
    • UNCRO - United Nations Confidence Restoration Operation in Croatia
    • UNDOF - United Nations Disengagement Observer Force
    • UNFICYP - United Nations Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus
    • UNIFIL - United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon
    • UNIKOM - United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission
    • UNMIBH - United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina
    • UNMIK - United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo
    • UNMIL - United Nations Mission in Liberia
    • UNMOGIP - United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan
    • UNMOP - United Nations Mission of Observers in Prevlaka
    • UNMOT - United Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan
    • UNMOVIC - United Nations Monitoring and Verification Commission
    • UNOMIG - United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia
    • UNOMSIL - United Nations Mission of Observers in Sierra Leone
    • UNSMIH - United Nations Support Mission in Haiti
    • UNTAET - United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor
    • UNTSO - United Nations Truce Supervision Organization

Organizations of the Economic and Social Council

Main article: UN Economic and Social Council

Functional Commissions

Regional Commissions

Specialized Agencies

The Specialized Agencies are autonomous organizations working with the United Nations and each other through the coordinating machinery of the Economic and Social Council.

  • ILO - International Labour Organization
  • FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization
  • UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • WHO - World Health Organization
  • World Bank Group
    • IBRD - International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
    • IDA - International Development Association
    • IFC - International Finance Corporation
    • MIGA - Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency
    • ICSID - International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes
  • IMF - International Monetary Fund
  • ICAO - International Civil Aviation Organization
  • IMO - International Maritime Organization
  • ITU - International Telecommunication Union
  • UPU - Universal Postal Union
  • WMO - World Meteorological Organization
  • WIPO - World Intellectual Property Organization
  • IFAD - International Fund for Agricultural Development
  • UNIDO - United Nations Industrial Development Organization
  • IRO - International Refugee Organization(ceased to exist in 1952)
  • INCB - International Narcotics Control Board

Other Entities

  • United Nations Forum on Forests
  • Sessional and Standing Committees Expert, ad hoc and related bodies

Organizations of the Secretariat

Main article: UN Secretariat

The United Nations Secretariat is led by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who is currently Kofi Annan of Ghana.

  • OSG - Office of the Secretary-General
  • OIOS - Office of Internal Oversight Services
  • OLA - Office of Legal Affairs
  • DPA - Department of Political Affairs
  • DDA - Department for Disarmament Affairs
  • DPKO - Department of Peacekeeping Operations
  • OCHA - Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
  • DESA - Department of Economic and Social Affairs
  • DGACM - Department of General Assembly and Conference Management
  • DPI - Department of Public Information
  • DM - Department of Management
  • OIP - Office of the Iraq Programme
  • UNSECOORD - Office of the United Nations Security Coordinator
  • OHRLLS - Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States
  • ODC - Office on Drugs and Crime
  • UNOG - UN Office at Geneva
  • UNOV - UN Office at Vienna
  • UNON - UN Office at Nairobi

Organization of the International Court of Justice

See International Court of Justice.

Related Organization

See also


External links

The United Nations UN Flag

UN System
General Assembly | Security Council | Economic and Social Council |
Trusteeship Council | Secretariat | International Court of Justice

United Nations Resolutions
General Assembly Resolutions | Security Council Resolutions

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